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Politics 101

By Rajani Kanth

The Romans had gladiators and lions.

We have elections.

Both, lavish spectacles for the masses to be , safely, immured in.

Elections, impeachments , they’re nearly on par with Pro-Wrestling, the closest simile I can think of.

Take your pick, and be entertained.

These are but legitimation games.

Unreality shows.

*

As I have written before, there are 2 kinds of Politics.

One pits the masses of the powerless and the property-less against the corporate oligarchy.

That’s deep politics.

The Other is simply an internecine struggle between contending power elites , for captaincy of the Ship of State.

And stewardship of the (visible) Public Purse.

What we are witnessing now , and do every 2/4 years, is the latter genre.

It holds nothing of real , lasting interest to the sans-culotte, who constitute the vast majority

of Electors.

They are fodder to the electoral mill.

It is – to be only partly satirical – a neat formula: You vote, They rule!

The First kind of politics is expressed daily in multiple fora, as people push back, in manifold ways, against oppression and injustice.

Occasionally, these struggles spill over into the electoral game – i.e. , into the Second domain of politics – where, in rare circs, they may have an impact.

Mostly, though, they are, sooner or later , betrayed/abandoned by their supposed champions.

Like the Labor Party in Britain, in the most recent election.

Though, like Sysiphus, the dispossessed simply dust off and struggle uphill all over again,

It’s akin to the Football Gag in Peanuts (Schulz/ Comic Strip)

*

So, turn off those TVs.

And resist yielding to the righteous passion that demonizes the one, or other political party, in the holy fire of partisanship.

In the larger analysis, there isn’t that much difference: the real opposition is not invited in.

As The Who sang it, years ago, “Meet the new boss,

Same as the old boss”.

For, as Max Weber understood it well, formal ‘democracy’ is a means only of legitimation of power (the real Business of State carries on , uninterruptedly, behind a cloak of privilege – in the legal sense – and secrecy).

If/When that effort fails, or falters, they simply switch back to their stark, original, unsavory, modus.

It is not pretty to behold.

Power is – to coin a phrase – a brute.

*

I do grant that the present juncture in history is quite momentous, even unprecedented..

It is not business as usual.

We are nearing the end of a long phase of near-unilateral global domination.

To return to the reference to Rome that I began this post with, let me repeat a much earlier comment.

We are, today, at the Caligula phase of Empire.

Beware!

The system now reveals itself , in many regards, quite openly: they, apparently, disdain to conceal their aims.

No more, or leastways far fewer, fig-leafs.

It bodes ill for the poor, the toilers, and the impuissant.

So, be governed accordingly.

[© R.Kanth 2020]   

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Professor Rajani Kanth, Author of Coda, and Expiations, is Trustee of the World Peace Congress

 

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